Markus Lähteenmäki

Studio 8: Drawing Matter

Studio Outline

‘Drawing matter’ will focus on the study, interpretation, and mediation of drawings. The studio will take on the questions of the status, authority and uses of drawings within different contexts, such as design practices, the archive, the digital, exhibitions, and collections, both public and private.  

Together with the studio leader the students will set out on a quest to take over and exploit the possibilities of drawings in different contexts through discussion, research, interpretation, iteration and reiteration. The studio will collaborate with Victoria & Albert Museum and the Courtauld Institute of Art working with their students and utilizing their staff and vast collections. Besides these established institutions, more informal and ambiguous collections and archives will be explored in search for drawings to be investigated.

Themes explored in relation to and beyond drawings include questions of curating, historical enquiry, and the archive. The studio will investigate, explore and exploit the possibilities of history, collections and the archive for contemporary practises. The ultimate aim is through these explorations, to quote Hal Foster, to ‘turn “the excavation sites” into “construction sites”’ (“An Archival Impulse”).

 As their dissertation project the students will be sent to a mission of their own and asked to do a proposal for an exhibition of drawings based on personal research. The exhibition might take a multiplicity of forms varying from a strictly academic curatorial project to reinterpreting a set of drawings through the student’s own work. 

First seven weeks of study

Week 1 (8/10). The Mission.
Introduction + themes: sketching and sketches. Case studies in class. Possibly a studio/archive visit.

Week 2 (15/10). Drawing Matter 1The Courtauld.
Looking at drawings at the Courtauld collection with the curators.
Themes: Ontologies of drawings. Drawing as art, drawing as thinking.
Visitors: Surprise visitors.

Week 3 (22/10). Drawing Matter 2: Victoria & Albert Museum.
Visit to the V&A + the RIBA at the V&A.
Themes: design drawings.
Visitors: Olivia Horsfall Turner (V&A), Kent Rawlinson (RIBA).

Week 4 (29/10). Drawing Matter 3: History and Theory.
Week 5. The Archive (5/11).
Themes: history and practice: relationships. Possibly a visit to an archive.

Week 6  Exhibition (12/11):
Session with a student group from the Courtauld Institute of Art.
Theme: exhibitions: theory and practice.
Visitors: Dr Maria Mileeva.

Week X (time to be confirmed). What to do? aka. Taking History Beyond History and Matter Beyond Matter. At the Sir John Soane Museum.
Themes: Interpretation, reiteration and creation.
Visitors: Adriano Aymonino + Freddie Phillipson: Views to the Long Gallery at Syon House. Benjamin Reichen (Åbäke) + Nene Tsuboi: Unbuilt Helsinki –project.

Reading List

  • 1. Blau, Eve, Edward Kaufman, and Robin Evans, eds, Architecture and Its Image: Four Centuries of Architectural Representation: Works from the Collection of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal: Centre Canadien d'Architecture/Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1989)
  • 2. Belardi, Paolo, Why Architects Still Draw (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2014)
  • 3. Berger, John, Berger on Drawing (Cork: Occasional Press, 2005)
  • 4. Evans, Robin, The Projective Cast: Architecture and Its Three Geometries (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1995)
  • 5. Evans, Robin, ‘Translations from Drawing to Building’, in Robin Evans, Translations from Drawing to Building and other Essays, AA Documents series: 2 (London: Architectural Association, 1997)
  • 6. Foster, Hal, ‘An Archival Impulse’, October, 1.110 (2004), 3-22. Petherbridge, Deanna, The Primacy of Drawing: Histories and Theories of Practice (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010)